I was intensely craving creamy polenta and porcini mushrooms. I came up with this dish, Polenta with Braised Squash and Porcini, which incorporated both and butternut squash.
Polenta can be cooked so it has a crispy surface (after it has been cooked and cooled), or it can have a very creamy consistency, which is what I was going for here. This is intensely creamy and not at all thick - I used 5 cups of almond milk to 1 cup of polenta.
The squash is braised with porcini mushrooms and a little truffle oil. Truffle oil has a very distinct flavor so use it according to your taste, although using it is totally optional. What is not optional is to make sure your porcini is completely clean of grit after rehydration. There is not much less appealing than having a mouth full of dirt.
This turned out to be a surprisingly delicious meal.
butternut squash: $2
onion, garlic, spices: $1
truffle oil: $.50
vegan milk: $2
Total to make 5 servings: